TALES FROM THE MADHOUSE
Gary Sidley, PhD is a registered clinical psychologist, freelance writer, trainer, and speaker. In 2013, he opted for early retirement from his post of Professional Lead/Consultant Clinical Psychologist after 33 continuous years of employment in the UK’s National Health Service. He is a vocal critic of bio-medical approaches to mental health, illustrating his concerns with anecdotes drawn from his extensive experience of working within the psychiatric system. His book, Tales from the Madhouse: An insider critique of psychiatric services was published by PCCS Books in February 2015. Gary’s NHS career began in 1980 as a psychiatric nurse, and he qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1989. In 2000, he obtained his PhD for a thesis exploring the psychological predictors of suicidal behaviour. His area of clinical expertise is in the area of severe and complex mental health problems.
Throughout his career, Gary has presented numerous workshops on a range of topics including cognitive behaviour therapy for depression, suicide risk assessment, advance decisions and understanding deliberate self-harm. More recently, he has been involved in promoting recovery-orientated services and his writings and training sessions have addressed a variety of issues that highlight the pernicious nature of current Western psychiatry, including the misuse of power, the discriminatory nature of the Mental Health Act, the stigma-enhancing effects of an ‘illness like any other’ approach and psychiatry’s perverse approach to risk.